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# 211697 7-Apr-2017 15:20
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If someone accidentally (not recklessly) causes property damage while informally working for someone else, can the spouse of the person who caused the damage be made co-liable if the insurance refuses to pay?

 

 





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  # 1758176 7-Apr-2017 15:25
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Was the spouse involved in any way?

 

Not even close to a lawyer, but I would have thought if your only link to the damage is being married to a person you could only lose assets belonging to those involved to pay damages etc.

 

I suppose a spouse would lose out in any assets jointly owned if they were taken to pay damages?

 

Maybe she could claim 50% ownership and limit her loss??




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  # 1758182 7-Apr-2017 15:40
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The spouse was not involved in any way, beyond being married to the one who caused the accident. I was asked for an opinion, which I am not competent to give, so I thought I would see what the legal experts here think. In no way is this a request for legal advice, just information. I have no idea how spousal liability works in New Zealand. If the partners have separate incomes and pay separate taxes and buy their cars separately, does that mean they have no joint liability? How does marriage work here in that respect?

 

 





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  # 1758192 7-Apr-2017 15:58
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Far too little information - was the work by verbal consent, was it expected to be friendly or professional, was it for a friend or persons previously unknown? 

 

Best advice is to at least go to Citizens Advice Bureau.


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  # 1758201 7-Apr-2017 16:32
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Rikkitic:

 

If someone accidentally (not recklessly) causes property damage while informally working for someone else, can the spouse of the person who caused the damage be made co-liable if the insurance refuses to pay?

 

 

 

 

No, probably not, as he/she has done nothing wrong.  But the spouse can be affected.  

 

Spouses usually own property (cars, houses, bank accounts etc.) as joint tenants, meaning you each own all of that property, not 50% each.  If judgement is entered against you then the order can be applied to all of your stuff jointly owned.  This means the spouses 1/2 of the house (etc.) could end up being used to pay your debt.  There are some steps you can take to reduce risk of this.  Worthwhile seeing a lawyer if you are worried.

 

 


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  # 1759248 7-Apr-2017 20:02
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Rikkitic:

If someone accidentally (not recklessly) causes property damage while informally working for someone else, [snip]


That's the first part to talk to a lawyer about. The specifics of that relationship determine if the person is liable at all. (or more detail ; ).

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